At their best, skate videos use their subjects – namely, the skaters and the spots they skate – to blend the narratives of place and character into a cohesive whole. When this happens, you get a special product that recalls the intangible things we love about skating. John Petras‘ new Pittsburgh video, Celine, does just that.
In the height differential of a high-to-low ledge on a crusty Pittsburgh hill, I can sense the city-wide spot survey that led to this one’s constant reuse. In the high-contrast, black-and-orange-lit night footage at the Museum of Natural History, I can nearly see the frayed edges of a Toyota Yaris’ cloth seats and smell the stale spliff smoke from the half-day commute on I-80. The interim vignettes – gentle hugging of friends in quiet moments and the repeated handing off of a flower – drew me into the skaters’ world in unexpected ways. John Petras seems to have pulled off the difficult trick of imbuing Celine with a personal voice and a representative view of a city.